Joe Flizzow had to go to war with his label Kartel Records for the chance to release his latest English-language single Drop.
“They (my label) had my best interests at heart. They wanted to know why I insisted on releasing Drop as my first new solo single in years. I said it’s a very personal song to me and I have a good feeling about it,” he said during an interview in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Joe had written two Malay-language singles that were ready for release titled Sampai Jadi and Dua Lima Dua, an introspective ode to the bus he used to take to get to the city centre from Subang Jaya back when he was a teenager. Then Drop came along and he needed to get that out first.
“Of course, you can’t make a decision based on your heart. As a business person, I always think with logic. I can’t really explain it but there is a lot of emotion involved in this song. I told my manager if I don’t do it now, I’ll probably regret it for all my life.”
The 38-year-old rapper is also the executive producer for the Drop music video and it was shot in Phuket, Thailand. The video reflects the song’s upbeat vibe and featured stunning shots of the ocean. Oh, and there’s a model who may or may not be Joe’s muse. All he would say is that he is in a good place in life.
“In a way, yes. I think you should put out music that you love and share that love with the fans. You don’t have to be scared. I know I will be criticised because the model is sexy (laughs).”
Breaking into the US
Joe described Drop as a single that puts the idea of celebrating life into perspective. “Think about a drop in the ocean. It may feel like a small, insignificant event in life but it’s the simple things that we have to start appreciating and remembering.”
Ultimately, the song is also about taking chances. With that in mind, Joe is making Drop his ticket into the hip-hop scene in the United States.
After setting the local hip-hop scene ablaze as part of legendary duo Too Phat and earning critical acclaim with his solo efforts, Joe wants to get out of his comfort zone.
“Hip-hop is very competitive and I don’t want to be one-dimensional. I want to connect with the world and Drop is the right song to do it. Whether it takes off or not, it doesn’t matter. I’m in a good place where I don’t want to regret not trying at all.”